Setting the Best Weight Loss Goals*

Being honest with yourself is incredibly important all the time, but at the start of a weight loss program it is even more important than you may originally think. Setting up your weight loss program on the right foot can have a lasting positive impact on your ability to lose weight. One of the biggest setbacks that people often experience as they progress through their weight loss program is not meeting their own expectations. Setting healthy and positive goals early on in your weight loss program can prevent you from experiencing this upsetting setback after weeks of otherwise positive progress.

How to Set Healthy Goals

Setting healthy weight loss goals is a bit of an art. When you are getting started with a new weight loss program it is really tempting to try to set a huge goal. You are thinking about what you want at the end, what you want to look like or feel like, and what weight you think you’ve been in the past that would be ideal for your future.

Thinking about this one singular large goal is not ideal when you are starting something as challenging as a weight loss program. This is because weight loss is something that you need to face every day—and so the best goals are the type of goals that you can think about every day. The reality is that you aren’t going to see a 100 lb difference in your weight overnight. Thinking about how you want to lose 100 lbs is likely to distract you from the achievement of losing 10 lbs. Losing 10 lbs is something that ought to be celebrated! But when you are thinking of that 10 lbs only in terms of the 90 lbs that you have left to lose, it is far too easy to get discouraged.

This is why it is helpful to make smaller goals that you can meet along the way. Think about incorporating helpful strategies like: 

  • Make a goal to lose one pant size over the course of 1-2 months
  • Make small milestone goals of losing 5 or 10 lbs
  • Celebrate reaching your milestones—just not with a food related treat!

Be excited for yourself in working towards those large goals, but focusing on achieving something for an entire year (or longer!) without stopping to give yourself any positive feedback is going to make the process even more challenging. Talk to your weight loss doctor about what the best weight loss goal is for you, and then make smaller goals that you can achieve along the way.

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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.